Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Starving Dragons*

In our home we live with a hundred students and, despite our no pet policy, an equal number of dragons. Specifically in our home there are three. One in a tiny cave with blonde hair, one in a puny sort of structure and the other in a manly, bear-skinned rug sort of space.

Most days I meet and greet others and from all appearances assume their small dragons are fast asleep deep in the recesses of the darkness. But on days like yesterday and the one before and the one before that, I secretly find solace in knowing that everyone has a dragon of some size lurking inside. This thinking comforts me when my dragon is very much awake and ready to breath fire in exchange for breakfast.

It happens quickly most times. All is well. Thoughts in check. And then someone hurts me or annoys me or threatens to deny me of what I think I deserve, and before I even realize it the dragon rouses, hungry. Very little stops a hungry dragon. And like so many times before, the fire starts bellowing. It escapes sometimes through gossip or evil glares or blow-ups. And then I've done it. I've thrown meat to the ravenous animal and appeased him yet again. But worse still, sometimes it doesn't escape and self-hatred or bitterness sets in as a sort of vitamin-fortified beef jerky to sustain and grow the beast bigger still.

The effects of a hungry dragon can for a while go undetected. We learn and we hide them. Often on any given Sunday among the polished and seemingly perfect, I sit convinced that they never have bad attitudes, days filled with crying and sleeping, and surely not days where they blame their Maker. Because I never see in them the rawness of a dragon fully enraged. Maybe they've starved them to extinction? Or maybe they've designed some clever canisters to encase their smoke screens?

Yesterday I had a lesson on the dragons in our home. I laughed at the ridiculous behaviors they induce when Levi began spinning in a circle with his head throw back to the ceiling until he collapsed in the floor in an utter leg-kicking fit. All because he couldn't have chewing gum. Those dragons.

But in our house we have a manual about taking care of them. In my manual readings, I find two types of instructions. Surrender oneself to The Dragon Tamer and follow the Tamer's lessons in creature starvation. Those dragons can shrink you know.

Even on days when the smoke fills our eyeballs or causes us to spin in circles, we have faith that denying them meat and most certainly jerky will lead to shrinking. And someday, hopefully, to a glorious extinction.

So we're hopeful. Smoke will billow sometimes. Things will wake the creatures. But we can be incredible pet owners. And having hired our very own Dragon Tamer, we're in the midst of lessons in starvation.

*A popular dragon name we hear often is Sin Nature.

1 comment:

Martin LaBar said...

Well said, and I didn't look at the footnote until I was a good way into the post.